It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

I love the idea of making Christmas presents for people. After all, what could be better than presenting someone with a personalised stocking on Christmas morning, lovingly knitted with your own fair hands? Every October, this same grand plan presents itself to me – and without fail, every year, I dismally fall short in delivering it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not for want of trying. I really do want to knit that colour block scarf for my sister… and that cabled hot water bottle cover that I know my mum would love… and that really cute Christmas pudding hat for my best friend’s baby, but the truth is I just run out of time.

If you’re anything like me, what you need is a crafting plan of attack – a complete outline of exactly what we want to make, what we need to know, what we need to do and when we need to do it by. We know – running to a schedule doesn’t sound very creative, but needs must, and if it helps to achieve our ultimate creative goal then it’s got to be worth a try. The truth is, professional crafty folk start planning their Christmas wares from July/August, and come the end of September, they’re already well underway. We know – contemplating Christmas pre-October is difficult enough, but in this case, the early bird really does catch the worm.

Let’s be honest, the road to craftiness in December is fraught with temptations and unexpected pot holes. From Christmas parties and last minute shopping to unannounced guests dropping by, it seems there’s always something to encroach on our precious crafting time – so in preparation, why not plan to have projects finished by the first week in December, leaving you free to enjoy/frantically run around (delete as applicable) the rest of the month? Once you’ve got a finish date in mind, you can work a timeline back to see when you need to start. Remember to factor in the complexity of the project and any other commitments you have, but above all, be honest about the amount of time you have available. It’s better to go for a smaller project that you know you can finish, rather than a grand one that you could run out of time on. When it comes to handmade, that old cliché really is true – it’s the thought that counts.

It’s also worth remembering to check any measurements you may need (after all, if you’re going to the effort to make someone a lovely jumper, it might as well be in the right size…), and make sure you have all your materials up front so there’s no chance of running out midway through. But most of all, enjoy knitting your lovely project – and imagine how happy the recipient will be to open your unique gift on Christmas morning.